Ah… I probably shouldn’t review this issue because everything is a potential spoiler. So SPOILER WARNING PEOPLE!
I hate it when I’m right. If you recall I figured out the structure of the story and related it to that of anime in a previous review (likely floating around at the bottom of this review). The pacing and the character development ensured that a character had to die in order to push the narrative forward… well Stjepan Sejic’s own cover confirms as much. That’s right, that’s the boldest fucking cover I have ever seen because he doesn’t beat around the bush. I’m sure some people thought it was all a tease, but I knew the minute I saw the cover that everything I thought would happen was about to in this issue… and you know what? It didn’t ruin the issue in the least bit.
In fact, this issue is fantastic because Sejic knows that it’s the journey not the outcome that makes it worthwhile.
Our Sigil’s have a quick battle with some high level Necromancers and everything seems to go well with them until Clara has a run in with the last surviving Necromancer. It’s an interesting scene that I won’t spoil, but it confirmed a lot of what the opening issues threw out there for us to think about. I know that I’m curious to see how the story plays out with this new turn of event.
From there the assault on the Vigil moves into phase two as our scientist/necromancer explains the next stage as its happening. We also learn Wulf’s motivation which is huge because it’s one third of the plot line driving the series.
Sejic is such a talented storyteller. I’ve said for years that the formula anime’s use could be easily adapted in to comics, not so much the manga’s as the anime. With Death Vigil Sejic has done just that, but he hasn’t been a slave to the formula. He’s adapted it and molded it to the story he needed to tell and that’s the important thing about bridging the two styles.
Sam’s character has honestly been my favorite since the series began. Sure part of it is the fact that we started with him, but then there’s also the budding romance between Bernie and him. Sure Bernie treats everyone like family and has genuine concern, but there’s some Cloud/Aerith level of feelings going on between these two. To put it frankly and very spoilery, this is how you do a character death. You don’t just kill the character you rip the people who love them away and make it painful to all.
With this series Sejic has become one of my all-time favorite artists. Part of me is very excited to see him joining Rat Queens, but another part of me really wants him to continue making and telling his own stories with his own art. The characters are so animated that it’s hard not see this as a cartoon or even a live action film while reading it. There’s personality, there’s heart and there’s humor and all of that stems from the art first and foremost.
It’s clear that this is not a series meant to go on forever and that’s okay. I come from a school of thought in which stories should end. In fact it’s a growing trend in comics and one that I wholly support. This first volume has two more issues left and we’ll just have to see if Sam really is 100% dead or not, but it would be kind of bullshit if he wasn’t. Either way though I will be back for more of Death Vigil. If you haven’t checked it out then do so. Be sure to recommend it to anime lovers as well since they’re sure to see how great this series is.
Writer/Artist/Creator: Stjepan Sejic Publisher: Image/Top Cow Price: $3.99 Release Date: 1/28/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital